BCP – an essential part of business

Most elevators/lifts in North America, Australia and the UK have a sign saying something along the lines of, “If there is a fire, don’t use the elevator/lift.” In Hong Kong, all elevators have signs that say, “When there is a fire, don’t use the lift.” The changing of one word, “if” to “when” presents a large difference of outlooks. In Hong Kong, people and businesses expect a disaster to happen. This is a viewpoint small business owners should adopt as well.

When a disaster strikes, 25% or more of small businesses affected will fail. Why do they fail? It’s not because of defects in the physical location, it’s mainly because they didn’t take the necessary steps to ensure that their business’s technology and related data is protected.

Because the modern business relies so heavily on technology, it’s essential that businesses have a business continuity plan (BCP) to minimize the loss of vital data, or in many cases, not lose any data at all. This is an important asset that will, one day, minimize losses felt due to any type of disaster. Small business owners know this, but many don’t know where to start. If you’re one of these owners, here are six tips on how you can prepare.

  1. Establish a backup regime. Data backup is one of the most important things you can do, be sure to regularly backup your corporate files, servers and user data files. A truly prepared company will have backups in a number of locations that can be easily accessed.
  2. Ensure solid communication platforms. One of the first things people do in a disaster is try to communicate with each other to ensure everything is ok. You can guarantee that some customers and employees will be calling to check in, so you need to have communication lines that work.
  3. Train employees. A BCP plan is useless if your employees don’t know their role in the implementation of the plan. It’s important that you train your employees on their roles, and that you communicate with them your expectations.
  4. Contingency plans. Like storing your data backups, you should set up contingency plans with the involved parties in your business. You should know where to go to do your banking, what your vendors’ or suppliers’ plans are and how they affect you, and most importantly: you should have a few locations where you can set up your business if the physical property is damaged.
  5. Review and practice all plans. Everything changes at one time or another, maybe an employee leaves or you adopt a new computer system. This makes it important to periodically practice your plans, review what worked and what didn’t, and update accordingly.
  6. Work with an expert. Planning for disaster is a tough thing to do well, considering all the elements to focus on and work with. To ensure a viable plan for your business, working with a recovery expert can help ensure that you get a plan that works for you while taking the stress off.

If you’re worried about your business’s disaster preparedness, please contact us. We can work with you to develop a solution, or provide you with the information and contacts to set you on the right path.

Published with permission from TechAdvisory.org. Source.

Lost your phone? Follow these tips.

The smartphone has managed to become so integrated into our daily lives that we take it with us everywhere we go. When we don’t have it with us, we may feel out of touch and like we’re missing something. What’s even worse is patting your pockets, or checking your bag only to find your phone has gone missing.

Here are four things you should do before you lose your phone and three things you should do when you lose it.

While you still have your phone

  1. Put your contact information on your phone’s lock screen. On Android, go into Settings, select Security followed by Owner Info. Put in your info and tick the box at the top of the window. For iPhone users, you’ll need to create an image with your contact information. When you have an image, plug your phone into your computer and put the photo in iPhoto. From there select Settings followed by Wallpaper. Pick the image you created and select Home. You’ll notice it show up on your lock screen.
  2. Install a tracker app. Tracker apps allow you to take control of your phone from a remote location (not your phone) and do things like wipe the memory, turn on the ringtone and GPS. For Android users, Android Lost and Wheres My Droid are both good apps. For iPhone users, Find my iPhone is the best app, and should already be on your phone. If you have a Windows phone you can simply log in to My Phone and click Find a lost Phone.
  3. Put your contact info in the phone. Many people who find a phone will turn it on and try to look for the owner of the phone, why not help them out and put called “Me”, or “In case of emergency.” Be sure to include another phone number and email so people can contact you.
  4. Backup important information. You should be backing up your data for this reason. Luckily most smartphone operating systems sync with the cloud, so be sure to turn on syncing to ensure important information and contacts are backed up.

When you lose your phone

  1. Call and text it. Before you activate the tracker app, try calling your phone and sending a text from another phone, maybe someone will pick it up or see it.
  2. Activate tracer. When you can get to a computer, log in to the website the tracker uses and use some of the options. The first thing you should do is turn on the GPS and see the phone’s location. If that doesn’t work, try sounding the ringer. As a last resort, wipe the memory.
  3. Contact the Police. If you’re worried about the information you have on your phone, or have reason to believe it was stolen, you should contact the police. It’s a long shot, but people have been known to also turn in lost cellphones to police stations, so it may be worth a visit.

It isn’t fun to lose a phone, but if you take steps to minimize the possibility of losing all of your data, you could be back up and running on a new phone in no time. If you’d like to learn more about securing your phone, please contact us.

Published with permission from TechAdvisory.org. Source.

Four hidden features of Facebook

Facebook is one of the most popular websites on the Internet. It seems like every business, person and their dog has an account. While it’s extremely popular, many business owners tend to stick with the features they know, which the majority of the time are the features they can see. There are a number of hidden features you can use as well.

Here are four hidden features you can use.

  1. App Settings. This setting tab lets you view and manage all the apps you’ve installed to your profile. From your profile, click the grey arrow near your name at the top of the window, select Account Settings and Apps to view your apps. Clicking the X will delete the app, while Edit will allow you to edit the settings. This feature is good for managing your profile.
  2. Archive Facebook. There’s a hidden feature in the Account Settings page that allows you to download your wall posts, everything you’ve shared and your friend’s email addresses. You can also download an enhanced archive which includes info like IP addresses. This feature is in the General tab in Account Settings and is under Language. If your company wants to backup its Facebook data, this is the way to do so.
  3. Customize Username. You can customize the username attached to your Facebook account, which in turn changes the URL of your profile to the username selected e.g., www.facebook.com/myprofile. This is useful for businesses as it allows them to have a unique username that they can use on their websites, newsletters and other communication to encourage visits.
    To change your username, click the grey arrow beside your name at the top of the Facebook window and select Account Settings. Under the General tab, select Edit beside Username. Be aware that at this time, Facebook only allows you to change your username once, so make sure you’re okay with the selection.
  4. Facebook email. Did you know that you can message Facebook users from any email account? All you have to do is enter username@facebook.com and anything you type will be sent to that user’s messaging tab (the speech bubble in the top left of the screen). This is a great feature that allows you to quickly and easily send a message to your friends without actually opening Facebook.

These are just four of the many useful features of Facebook that you could use in your business to help further your brand, or make it easier to reach out to your followers. If you’d like to learn more about utilizing Facebook in your business, please contact us.

Published with permission from TechAdvisory.org. Source.
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